Explaining the Bundys sans Mormonism

As a Mormon, it's hard for me to watch or listen to anything the Bundy boys say without being instantly reminded that they represent a very real element within my belief system. One that I don't happen to agree with or particularly like, but is nevertheless tied to a shared history. When I hear Ammon Bundy bearing his testimony that he knows the federal government isn't true, I close my eyes and wish this wasn't all somehow rooted in the faith we share.So, for those of you who feel like I do … [Read more...]

In His Final Performance, David Bowie Embraced Death

I woke up earlier than usual this morning, only to find that David Bowie died last night, just days after his 69th birthday.I'm devastated. No other musician or pop star filled my life with such joy and mystery. "Legendary musician" doesn't even begin to cover it. David Bowie was elemental, everchanging, and I assumed eternal. I took his presence on earth for granted, evidenced by my review of his latest album Blackstar, published just two days before he died. The conclusion is mostly a re … [Read more...]

Narnia, the Solstice, and Heaven

I.Some of my fascination with The Last Battle, the last in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, might stem from the draw of the bittersweetness of finality and my awe (in the dual senses of “awesome” and “awful”) at apocalypse. But good portion of it derives from Narnia’s heaven, one of the most compelling visions of a literal, Christian heaven in literature.Mr. Tumnus explains a key aspect of this heaven: there, “no good thing is destroyed.” At its most straightforward, Mr. Tumnus is refer … [Read more...]

This Seems Relevant

"The LDS Church has no doctrine of infallibility, but it is characterized by a church culture that elevates the prophet and his mantle to near infallible heights ... The challenge of Mormon leadership is how to balance Woodruff's assurance that the leadership will never lead members astray, with the empirical and doctrinal reality of prophets designated by the voice of revelation as 'the weak things of the earth.'"-Terryl L. Givenes, Wrestling the Angel p. 22 … [Read more...]

O Say What is Truth

 "The Church is true"  has got to be the most uttered phrase on the first Sunday of the month in LDS churches worldwide. But alas, it’s a phrase that has tripped me up since childhood. Not because I don’t believe it, but because those words, in that precise order, have never made sense to me.What does it mean to say the Church is “true?” Are we saying the Church is “honest?” Maybe that the Church is the “genuine article?” Or that it “conforms to the actual state and conditions of rea … [Read more...]

Jesus in Doubt

Over the last few years, public discussions of the place of doubt in Mormon life have increased substantially. The sources of doubt are not new. Theological puzzles, historical messiness, fallible leadership, cultural weakness, personal suffering—all these subjects (and more) have been addressed and/or wrestled with since Mormonism’s founding. The nature and depth of these conversations have varied, of course. But the LDS Church has never collectively had them as consistently and openly as it has … [Read more...]

The Next Church Handbook Change: Tithing and Affinity Fraud

Shawn Merriman was a devoted family man, a diligent Mormon bishop, and, ultimately, a convicted fraudster. Dubbed the “Mormon Madoff”, Merriman, a self-described hedge-fund manager, ran a Ponzi scheme that swindled dozens of his friends and acquaintances, and even his own mother, out of millions of dollars. He used his ill-gotten gains to finance a luxurious lifestyle, purchasing Rembrandt prints, antique cars, and sports memorabilia. In March 2009, finding that he could no longer maintain his el … [Read more...]

Mormon Church Responds to Bundy-led Oregon Occupation

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has now officially condemned the actions of a group of armed militiamen in Oregon, led by Ammon Bundy--a Mormon--and fueled by right-wing ideology, mixed with a unique brand of Mormonstyle American exceptionalism. Here's the statement: While the disagreement occurring in Oregon about the use of federal lands is not a Church matter, Church leaders strongly condemn the armed seizure of the facility and are deeply troubled by the reports that those … [Read more...]


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